D.A. Powell

D.A. Powell is the author of five poetry collections and a fake memoir. His honours include the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and a National Book Critics Circle Award. His first three collections of poetry, Tea, (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004), are often considered as a trilogy on the AIDS epidemic. His most recent collection is Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys.

Photo: Matt Valentine


Round Table »

An intimate reading with D.A. Powell

Sat 7 March | 11:30 - 12:15 | £6.50/£5.00 | Green Room, St Leonards Quad, St Leonards School, South Street

Poetry Centre Stage »

A Saturday night to remember with a double bill of poetry (BSL-interpreted)
20:00 Reading – D.A. Powell
21:00 Reading – Mimi Khalvati

Sat 7 March | 20:00 - 22:00 | £10.00/£8.50 | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium


Mass for Pentecost: Canticle for Birds & Water

There is no cause to grieve among the living or the dead,
so long as there is music in the air.

And where the water and the air divide, I’ll take you there.
          The levee aureate with yellow thistles.
White moth, wasp and dragonfly.
We could not wish unless it were on wings.
Give us our means and point us toward the sun.

Will the spirit come to us now in the pewter paten of the air,
the fluted call of dabbler drakes, the deadpan honk
                     of the white-fronted goose, the tule goose.
Tongues confused in the matchstick rushes.
High, high the baldpate cries, and in the air,
and in the air, the red-winged blackbirds chase the damselflies.
Triumph over death with me. And we’ll divide the air.


D.A. Powell

From Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys. Copyright © 2012 by D. A. Powell. Used with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota